The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians continues to smolder and periodically ignite with terrible consequences. Those of us concerned about the region feel powerless to have any influence. But there is new legislation in the U.S. House sponsored by Andy Levin, D-Mich., that could help, and I would urge Rep. Chellie Pingree to support it.

A two-state solution has always been the best hope for a path out of the conflict, moving toward the promise of safety, self-determination and statehood for both populations. Unfortunately, through the processes of creeping annexation, settlement expansion and home demolitions, forces in Israel have been conspiring to make this resolution increasingly impossible.

The Two-State Solution Act embraces a number of key actions that the U.S. government can take in order to truly support and encourage a peaceful, two-state solution:
• Declares settlements to be a violation of Palestinian human rights and international law.
• Restricts US aid to Israel, so it can only be used for legitimate security needs and not for purposes of increasing the annexation.
• Supports critical people-to-people programs for Palestinians and Israelis.

Through these measures, the Two-State Solution Act can help revitalize and reset the U.S. commitment to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and ending the occupation. It can help enact policies designed to advance U.S. interests, secure Israel’s future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people, and defend Palestinian rights, including their right to self-determination.

As a longtime champion of peace and human rights, I hope that Chellie Pingree will support it.

David Finkelhor

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